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Introduction

The Giving Voice campaign aims to ‘give voice’ to people with speech, language and communication needs – to ensure their requirements, and those of their carers and families are met.

Our aim is to demonstrate how speech and language therapy makes a difference to individuals and the broader society across the UK.

Giving Voice helps speech and language therapy services to demonstrate speech and language therapists’ unique value to national and local decision makers, while showing evidence of our efficiency and value for money.

'Campaigning’ is a very broad term, describing everything from a community group getting together to petition against the closure of a local swimming pool, to a presidential election campaign which reverberates around the globe.

The Giving Voice campaign looks different wherever RCSLT members pick up and run with the concept. However, by promoting the four principal messages below, our collective activity contributes towards a groundswell of awareness and appreciation of the role of speech and language therapy in our communities.

Our key messages:

  • Speech and language therapists (SLTs) are specialists who enable people to develop or regain vital communication and swallowing skills.
  • Problems with speech and language imprison the individual and severely limit their participation in family life, the community, education and the world of work.
  • Tackling communication and swallowing problems reduces avoidable costs and waste in the NHS, local authorities, the criminal justice system and the wider economy.
  • Urgent changes are needed to support timely access to speech and language therapy for those who need it.
  • Giving Voice broke new ground for the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists and we hope it marks the start of an exciting journey for you too. Thank you for finding the time and energy to learn more about the campaign and do explore these pages, which are full of useful resources to help you raise awareness about your profession.

Giving Voice resources

Giving Voice Toolkit 

This toolkit is designed to support RCSLT members who want to participate in Giving Voice campaigning. If you feel you need further training or assistance after reading the toolkit, please contact us and we will endeavour to help you.

Download the Giving Voice Toolkit 

Local influencing 

Our local influencing pages provide resources that will help you demonstrate to your local stakeholders how you:

  • Deliver their objectives
  • Improve outcomes for them
  • Improve outcomes for people who benefit from speech and language therapy

Giving Voice factsheets 

These factsheets include case studies and peoples’ stories showing how Speech and Language Therapy changes lives.

Download the Giving Voice factsheets

Seven Signs’ Booklets and Posters

Download and use the Seven Signs of speech and language and communication difficulties for children and adult booklets in your service and campaign activities.

There are seven adult and children posters each raising awareness of a different language and communication difficulty. The posters have been designed to improve understanding and awareness of speech, language and communication needs amongst your clinical colleagues:

Adult posters
Aphasia
Dysarthria
Dysphagia
Dysphonia
Dementia
Learning Disability
Stammering

Children’s Posters
Language impairment
Speech sounds
Stammering
Voice Disorder
Social Communication difficulties
Glue ear/Otitis media
Cleft lip/Palate

Merchandise

Using Giving Voice merchandise is a simple and effective way to spread the campaign message among your professional colleagues and at events with the public and politicians. We have a range of items – everything from badges and pens to booklets and balloons – for you to choose from. Simply download the order form, fill it in and email to campaigns@rcslt.org today.

Download merchandise form 

Giving Voice Local Activity Fund 

To encourage members to engage in the Giving Voice campaign, the RCSLT has created a local activity fund, out of which up to £200 will be awarded each quarter to up to three Giving Voice campaign groups.

Since the campaign launched in autumn 2010, members have excelled at planning and delivering local Giving Voice activity with no financial support from the RCSLT. This fund is designed to enable a selection of the most ambitious, creative and innovative ideas to get off the ground. The RCSLT strongly encourages its members to continue to plan Giving Voice activities that are low or no cost. Many services and student groups have managed this so far to great effect.

If you wish to offset any of the £200 against Giving Voice merchandise, please also complete the Giving Voice merchandise form and send it back together with the completed local activity fund application.

Download the Giving Voice Local Activity Fund application form 

Using the Giving Voice logo

You are able to download and use these Giving Voice logos on the material you produce for your campaign. However, please also download the Giving Voice logo guidelines to adhere to the rules of usage.

Giving Voice logo 1

Giving Voice logo 2

Storytelling Project

Background

The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists continuously reviews the way it puts you at the heart of its activity, which is why we have undertaken an exciting UK-wide video project which celebrates and highlights the valuable work you do.

Join us and be part of this amazing journey and together we will showcase how speech and language therapists support and transform the lives of people with communication and/or swallowing difficulties.

The aims of the project

  • provide a 360 degree view of how people at any stage of their lives can have communication and/or swallowing disabilities and how speech and language therapists assess their needs and support them.
  • create a powerful, useful, and lasting bank of videos which deliver first-hand accounts of people’s communication and/or swallowing needs.
  • publish and share videos which will inspire, inform and help people.

Target audience for the project:

  • Public
  • Decision makers
  • Colleagues
  • Media
  • Politicians

How you can be part of the project

This project has been designed to enable partnership working so that together we can co-produce a powerful resource for both the speech and language therapy profession and the public.

We are looking for:

  • Powerful, emotive service user speech and language therapy stories to capture the imagination of our target audience.
  • Videos which highlight the impact communication and/or swallowing difficulties can have on people’s lives and those around them.
  • Films which demonstrate how speech and language therapists assess communication and/or swallowing needs, subsequently providing valuable support to rehabilitate, enhance and transform people’s lives.

If you would like to get involved, please capture stories on video and send them to us with a copy of the signed consent form (see download section below) so we can help promote your work.

Please view and download the toolkit below to get you started and if you want to follow the conversation around the Storytelling Project on social media you can use #SLTStories .

Of course, if you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch and the team will endeavour to help.

Download The Speech and Language Therapy Storytelling Project Toolkit

Watch the videos created to accompany the Storytelling Project

Ryan has had severe communication difficulties since birth. Watch his story and see how speech and language therapy has helped him. 

Christine has had a stammer all her life. She discusses what it's like and how speech and language therapy has helped her.

Clodagh is recovering from a stroke, which initially caused her to be locked-in. She discusses how speech and language therapists played a pivotal role in her recovery.

Campaigns

News

If you’ve got an interesting story to share and want to inspire other Giving Voice campaigners, please email 250-500 words and some good quality images to campaigns@rcslt.org and we’ll help you promote your activities to a wider audience.

My Journey My Voice

My Journey My Voice is the critically acclaimed multimedia exhibition featuring stories and portraits of people with communication disabilities, which has been touring Northern Ireland.

The exhibition, which features nine portraits by local photographer Laurence Gibson, is a collaborative project. It has been commissioned by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists as part of its Giving Voice campaign and is supported by Disability Action and the Northern Ireland Health and Social Care Board.

Experience the exhibition.

Voice Box

Voice Box is a UK-wide joke competition for schools, which reminds people that all children need support to build their communication skills and confidence and some need additional specialist help to speak and/or understand what is being said to them. The competition is run by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT).

See the Voice Box page for England and Scotland

See the Voice Box page for Wales

See the Voice Box page for Northern Ireland 

Swallowing Awareness Day

Huge congratulations to everyone who took part in this year’s Swallowing Awareness Day on 14 March 2018 . Thank you. You were amazing!

Eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties have potentially life-threatening consequences. They can result in choking, pneumonia, chest infections, dehydration and weight loss. They can also make taking medication more difficult and they can lead to a poorer quality of life for the individual and their family.

Through your efforts, ingenuity and campaigning, you managed to raise awareness far and wide of how dysphagia can affect people at any stage of their lives and how speech and language therapists support them to eat, drink and swallow safely. In fact, your campaigning caused quite a stir on social media. The Twitter hashtag #swallowaware2018 trended UK-wide and reached 4.5 million people in 34 countries around the world. Phenomenal!

Want to join us for next year’s Swallowing Awareness Day? We’ll be holding it on 13 March 2018 and we’ll be posting more details about the campaign here in the coming months as well as on the @RCSLT Twitter channel, using a new hashtag #swallowaware2019.

Awareness-raising events

2018

November

17 World Prematurity Day

2019

February

4-10 Children's Mental Health Week
4 World Cancer Day

March

3 World Hearing Day
7 World Book Day
11-17 Brain Awareness Week
16 Disabled Access Day

April

Parkinson's Awareness Month
11 World Parkinson’s Day
1-7 Schools Autism Awareness Week
1-7 World Autism Awareness Week
23 World Book Night

May
13-26 Foster Care Fortnight 
30 World MS Day

June

28 Care Home open day

September

World Alzheimer's Month

October

10 World Mental Health Day